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Science and Innovation with Neutrons in Europe (SINE2020)

New materials and processes are cornerstones for the future development of modern societies and for addressing grand challenges such as future energy supplies, information technology and health. Analytical techniques underpin the development of these new materials and processes. Neutrons, with their unique properties, play a pivotal role, but are only available at large scale facilities (LSFs). Based on numerous national and European initiatives, the science community can now rely on a network of about ten national facilities along with the European facility Institut Laue Langevin. Europe’s lead in neutron science will be strengthened by the construction of the European Spallation Source (ESS) which is planned to start operations in 2019 and will outperform existing sources by several orders of magnitude.

In the context of this bright future for the scientific community in terms of experiments with neutrons, the project “Science and Innovation with Neutrons in Europe” (SINE2020) was set up based on two objectives: preparing Europe for the unique opportunities at the ESS and developing the innovation potential of neutron LSFs. Particular emphasis is placed on industry consultancy to leverage neutron LSFs for industry. Within the project, partners from 13 countries will develop new services including outreach, improvements in sample preparation methods, instrumentation and software. Its success will enable the ESS to serve the scientific community from the start. SINE2020 is funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union. Funding for Forschungszentrum Jülich amounts to 1.02 million Euros for the period 2015 – 2019.

Forschungszentrum Jülich is contributing to four work packages:

- In close collaboration with other facilities, the laboratories of the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) will develop new synthesis procedures for deuterated monomers and polymers which are of high relevance for natural and synthetic rubbers as well as having photovoltaic and LED applications.

- JCNS scientists of the outstation at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ) in Garching will work on the development of protein crystallogenesis methods. High-quality single crystals of proteins are of key importance in structural biology and the pharmaceutical industry.

- The experts of the Central Institute for Engineering, Electronics, and Analytics – Electronic Systems (ZEA-2) will also contribute to the neutron detectors’ work package. The necessity to considerably increase the count rates of future detectors requires the development of a new type of scintillation detector offering a direct readout of the photomultiplier tubes attached to each pixel. ZEA-2 will collaborate with the Science and Technology Facilities Council in the United Kingdom, the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, the Technical University Delft and the Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble to make this project a success.

- Continuous improvements in neutron detectors with high count rates and larger 2D detectors with high numbers of pixels mean a dramatic increase in the number of data points produced, resulting in big data. Efficient data treatment and the development of user-friendly software to evaluate the data are key requirements to serve the scientific user community. The Scientific Computing Group of JCNS at the MLZ is a key partner in the SINE2020 work package “Data Treatment Software”.

Further information:

Horizon 2020 Projects Special Report: SINE2020

SINE2020 Grant Agreement signed by the European Commission

ILL has signed the Grant Agreement for SINE2020

Additional Information

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This project is funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union. Project number 654000.